Petit’s 1975 version of one of the world’s best-loved ballets is being staged by the Moscow Stanislavsky Ballet for the first time, with music from the English National Ballet Orchestra.

As well as Polunin, the company brings together principal dancers including Semyon Velichko, Kristina Shapran and Erika Mikirticheva.

It is led by general director Vladimir Urin, who is now taking over as the Bolshoi Theatre's general director after the surprise announcement on July 9 that the long-serving Anatoly Ikasanov had been fired.- and Igor Zelensky is artistic director.

'Enfant terrible'

Picture gallery of Polunin

Ukrainian star Polunin became the youngest-ever male principal dancer at Britain's Royal Ballet when he was 19.

He has since returned to performing with Moscow's Stanislavsky Ballet and has made guest appearances with the Royal Ballet.

April's disappearance was not the first time he had gone missing.

He was due to take the lead in Mendelssohn's The Dream at London's Royal Opera House on February 1, 2012, but pulled out with days to

This time, he has pledged to be there.

At a recent press conference, he said: 'I am very sorry that, due to health issues at the time, I wasn't able to explain to everyone why I couldn't perform in April but I'm delighted to have another opportunity to dance at the Coliseum in July. Coppélia is one of my favourite ballets and I will be there!'

Photo: Stanislavsky Theatre

(Voice of Russia)